If the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of anything, it’s that germs are all around us. This might be a scary notion for some, but there’s no avoiding it. That said, the more we can do to mitigate the spread of germs from one person to another, the better off we’ll all be. Grocery and retail stores must do their part to keep their customers and employees safe and healthy; maintaining a clean store is a major part of these efforts. Businesses like yours have other reasons to keep their surfaces clean, of course, such as retaining a stellar reputation and maintaining the integrity of their assets. There are many reasons to regularly clean your shopping carts and baskets. Here are some cleaning tips for shopping baskets in particular.
Shopping Basket Cleaning Tips
Have Staff Members Clean Baskets Daily
Chances are your store already has a daily cleaning schedule in place. If basket cleaning isn’t already on this checklist, go ahead and add it so your cleaning staff remembers to properly spray and wipe down basket handles and exteriors at least once a day (more often is better, if possible). While most of your baskets might not show visible signs of dirt or grime (especially black shopping baskets), each basket is bound to pick up some bacteria and other contaminants over time and when in use. By maintaining a regular basket cleaning schedule, you help prevent the accumulation of these contaminants, keeping your baskets clean, sanitary, fresh-looking, and in great shape.
Use the Right Cleaning Supplies and Methods for the Job
Not all shopping baskets are created equal, and the materials of which they’re composed will determine the optimal cleaning solutions and preventative maintenance. Metal shopping baskets, for instance, are susceptible to oxidation (rust) when exposed to moisture and oxygen, and purpose-built metal cleaners (or all-purpose cleaners) will be best for cleaning these types of baskets. Plastic shopping baskets can typically be cleaned with the right all-purpose cleaning solution and/or a mixture of water and bleach. Just be mindful that the wrong combination of cleaning solutions and/or ingredients can cause corrosion and/or damage the basket’s paint job. Determine the optimal cleaning supplies and methods for your particular baskets and train your cleaning staff to tackle this job correctly.
Advise Customers to Wipe Down Baskets Before Use
You can greatly reduce the resources and time spent on basket cleaning and give customers immediate peace of mind by providing sanitary wipes near basket collection stations for personal use. While not every customer will bother wiping down their shopping vessel, several will, especially if you post clear signage that politely asks them to do so and explains the benefits of this simple task. If nothing else, making a visible effort to encourage good cleaning practices sends a positive message to your customers, so there’s no downside and several potential upsides to this strategy.
Provide Hand Sanitizer to Customers and Employees
Speaking of self-serve cleaning solutions, you can also bolster the cleanliness of your handheld shopping baskets by encouraging customers and employees to maintain excellent hand hygiene. Consider installing various hand sanitizing stations around your store (entrances and exits especially) so shoppers can conveniently sanitize their hands before, during, and after their trip. Simply put, when your customers’ hands are clean, the handles of your baskets will remain clean as well — another win-win for everyone.
Don’t Let Shopping Baskets Linger Outdoors
Where you store your shopping baskets also factors into their cleanliness. The longer you allow baskets to linger outside your store, the more exposed they’ll be to various environmental contaminants such as dirt, rain, road salt (a winter problem), pollen, trash/debris, animal droppings, pests, and more. You can mitigate these potential problems in a number of ways. For instance, don’t allow customers to carry baskets outside the store (carts are a different story, of course); if they have bags in which to carry their purchases, they shouldn’t have further use for their basket anyway. If any baskets do end up outside, have a team of employees regularly check for and retrieve baskets and carts from the parking lot, so they’re not out there for too long. These measures will also protect your business from basket theft.
Keep Your Floors and Other Surfaces Clean
Finally, if you want to keep your shopping baskets clean, you must focus on the cleanliness of your store as a whole. Every part of your location is connected, after all. If your floors are filthy, your shopping baskets with wheels will pick up whatever contaminants and residue are lying in wait. Even if your store doesn’t feature rolling shopping baskets, the standard baskets carried around by your customers can come into contact with various surfaces like walls, counters, furniture, and other baskets. Maintaining a clean interior all around will minimize cross-contamination between your shopping baskets and other parts of your store.
Of course, no matter how well you care for your shopping baskets, they will wear down over time. And there will eventually come a time when it’s best to invest in a brand new supply of these key items. At Good L Corp., our high-quality baskets and carts are designed to withstand the many threats that face them. With the proper maintenance, our baskets will last your business a long time, and we’re happy to give you more tips on how to take care of them. Good L Corporation delivers innovative shopping cart and basket solutions for retailers on a global scale. Good L Corp can configure the right carryall strategy to boost your retail business from a fleet of new custom carts to launch your store opening to replacement baskets that supplement your existing shop supply. Let’s get started! Contact us today for a no-pressure sales quote.